Are you the mother of a middle-school or high-school girl? Or perhaps you have a niece or a daughter of a friend in that age group? If so, listen in today as my guest shares her vision for using your voice for purposeful work by giving these young ladies a hand up as they face hurdles in their lives.
IE 181: Using Your Voice for Purposeful Work with Lanaire Malone of Hurdles in Heels
Lanaire Malone is the founder and CEO of Hurdles in Heels, a business dedicated to helping young women face life’s challenges and hurdles head-on, wearing the heels of confidence.
Are You Qualified to Be a Mentor?
As women, regardless of where we come from or our family backgrounds, we all face some common challenges. Whether it’s self-esteem, body image, or the comparison trap.
Lanaire wanted to build a training ground for young women so that even if they hit some of these hurdles, they would be able to pick themselves up and go again instead of falling down and staying there.
But in order to get up again, these young women need help from mentors they can trust.
And Lanaire says that there is no better mentor for a young woman than another woman. Are you qualified? Well, Lanaire says that if you have a pulse, you are more than qualified.
These young women can easily spot a fake, so if you simply share your own story and offer your authentic self to them, the women who need to connect with you, will.
Women Need a Vision
“Little girls with dreams become women with vision.”
After seeing this quote online, Lanaire knew she had to find a way to incorporate it into her company mission.
The women who mentor the girls in Hurdles and Heels are called “Moms and Mentors” and they use the idea of creating vision by hosting vision board parties with their girls. But due to COVID-19, the parties have had to go virtual.
These women aren’t able to be with the girls every day or to engage in their day-to-day lives with them. The virtual vision board parties allow them to engage in conversation with their girls and to learn about the dreams they have.
The Moms and Mentors in the program have seen the girls really open up about their hopes and dress for the future by working on vision boards together, as well as helping the girls to lay out some action steps toward making their dreams actually come true.
As women, I think we all need vision boards and I am such a firm believer in them that I even did a podcast on how to create one. If you haven’t laid out goals and a vision for your life, listen to that episode and write down your vision!
Pivoting Through Difficult Seasons
The coronavirus has changed almost everything in our lives and in many of our businesses. And that’s true as well for Hurdles in Heels.
Whereas before, the vision board parties were a huge in-person event, they are now virtual.
It’s been crucial to keep in mind for the Moms and Mentors that even as our lives are being turned upside down, the lives of these girls, who already live in challenging circumstances, are being turned upside down, too.
Rather than backing off on their efforts, this is the time to press the gas even harder. The girls need a place to process the things they’re going through; a place to talk about how they feel about what’s happening all around them.
Instead of spending time in person with the girls for the typical 8-week course, the new version of Hurdles in Heels is a 4-week virtual course. The feedback from the moms and girls has been nothing but positive.
The Hurdles Girls Are Facing
The basic 8-week course that Hurdles in Heels offers in schools has curriculum for the 18 most common hurdles that girls face. Eight of them are the most extreme and most consistent of the challenges that these girls deal with on a regular basis.
As the program goes into a school, they decide what the most pressing needs are for the girls in that area. This allows for the girls to continue in the program without going through the same material multiple times.
The material gives the students actionable steps to take to work through their particular challenges.
These virtual sessions that Lanaire’s team is currently focusing on are being presented live for the students. The girls need that interaction with their leaders.
Conversations That Matter
Lanaire has been hosting conversations on her Instagram called Conversations That Matter, where she and a guest discuss the systemic racism in the United States.
She started these discussions because she knew that the girls in Hurdles in Heels were seeing so much information on social media. And even though she hoped that their parents were engaging them in conversation around it, she knew enough to know that wouldn’t be true for many of them.
Lanaire was also hearing from her white friends how shocked they were by the current state of racism. Many who said to her, “I didn’t know it was this bad.”
She engaged in a ton of conversations in person for a week which helped her to step out of her own complacency around the issues, and although she doesn’t represent all back people, she felt the need to speak out and serve others.
And since the conversations she was having had helped her, she knew they could help others also.
Another quote that spurred Lanaire on was, “You might not have created the problem, but you’re here now to help fix it.”
A Hopeful Future
Lanaire has great hope that the conversations we are having now as a result of the current circumstances will provide a more equal and helpful future for our children.
We are all in this boat together. It’s not blacks against whites. We as humans have to open our eyes to the discrepancies that are still alive and well and we have to want to be a part of the solution.
Are you having these conversations with your children? It’s not a matter of whether or not your children will be exposed to this information. It’s a matter of who is going to expose them.
You as a parent want to do it in an age-appropriate manner. And if you don’t know how to have the conversations, find someone you trust to talk to you and your children.
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